Monday, March 22, 2010

AIPAC Public Policy Conference Today

Stephen Walt, writing in the Washington Post, sums it up here:
Whatever you think of its strategy or its tactics, the Obama administration is genuinely committed to achieving a two-state solution, which is hardly an act of hostility toward Israel. On the contrary, for Obama to keep this difficult and time-consuming issue on his already crowded agenda is an extraordinary act of friendship -- especially when friendship means speaking difficult truths.
The more Netanyahu pushes unilaterally for more settlements in sensitive areas like East Jerusalem, the more Israel begins to resemble South Africa pre-Mandela. The Arabs may have more money, more guns, and a stronger faith than the black South Africans did, but they are no match for US-backed Israel. They have blown themselves up (think about that for just a second) trying to kill as many civilians as possible. Indeed, the argument that the Arabs have targeted civilians misses the point. From their point of view, every Arab in Gaza or the West Bank is a soldier fighting for their existence, so they (at least) do not distinguish who is soldier and civilian on the other side. We see that as barbaric; they see it as necessary for survival. In fact, I have to admit that I am now just coming to this perspective, as I've seen the country I love almost as much as America turn into a roiling pot of sectarian animosity. The more militaristic Israel gets, the less they achieve; the more muscle the flex, the weaker they become.

What Israel needs is to stop expanding and make peace with their neighbors. Some argue that there is no peace when the other side just wants you dead. But that's a false argument; they don't want us dead; they just want to live their lives. Does that sound familiar?

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